Isle of Man: Business Environment
This page was last updated on 24 January 2020.
Trust management, particularly for wealthy UK individuals, is an established business on the Isle of Man. Though continued tightening of UK anti-avoidance legislation has reduced the possibilities for UK citizens, trust work continues to be significant. Many collective investment funds are of course based on trusts. The introduction of the purpose trust has led to an increase in corporate trust work.
The Isle of Man has a well-developed legal and financial infrastructure for trust management. With a large established base of trusts and a growing reliance on corporate work, the volume of trust litigation is becoming significant.
In common with many other offshore jurisdictions, the Isle of Man responded to pressure from the OECD by tightening up its regulatory regime. Until 2005, trustees were not licensed or supervised by the Isle of Man Financial Supervision Commission (IOMFSC) unless the fiduciary carried on business in investment, banking or insurance.
The Fiduciary Services Act, 2005, extended the Corporate Service Providers Act 2000 to require persons who, by way of business, provide certain services to trusts and partnerships or act as nominee holders of units in unit trusts to hold a fiduciary licence.
The licensing of fiduciaries brought the Isle of Man in line with similar arrangements already established in other offshore jurisdictions such as Bermuda, Guernsey and Jersey. An external review of the proposals by London law firm Stikeman Elliot found the bill compares favourably with legislation in these places.
Alongside the Fiduciary Services Act, the IOMFSC has updated the regulatory codes of its fiduciary services.